This paper examines the impact of climatic shocks on young children's nutritional indicators, using the Peruvian Young Lives project data set. Special attention is given to child nutrition and climatic shocks, since malnutrition in young children may have long-term negative effects, and the covariate nature of climatic shocks and natural disasters may make them more difficult to cope with than other shocks. This paper finds that climatic shocks led to a significant increase in child stunting, reducing the height-for-age z-score of five-year-old children by 10%. This evidence suggests that climatic shocks may have a permanent effect on health, affecting children's ability to acquire cognitive and non-cognitive skills. This paper also contributes to the literature by finding that the negative impact of climatic shocks on child nutrition can be offset by executing risk-coping strategies. Yet, Government aid seems irrelevant in offsetting such negative effects. These findings suggest that it might be pertinent to change the focus of government policies, from direct actions, to the improvement of household risk-coping capacities and abilities.
Paper submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc in Economics for Development at the University of Oxford.
Rossel, J.D. The Impact of Climatic Shocks on Child Nutrition in Peru. (2008) 38 pp. [MSc Thesis, University of Oxford]